In 2010, a comprehensive global research study found that 80 percent of the world’s water is exposed to high water security risks.
These risks come in different forms, but one of the most pressing is the rapidly increasing incidence of algae blooms in lakes, ponds, rivers and oceans.
Algae is a simple organism and, when it grows normally, doesn’t hurt the environment. But because of climate change (including changing rainfall patterns due to rising temperatures), algae is growing rampantly in water systems around the world. The result are giant algae blooms: neon-green growths that spread across the water’s surface. As they grow, they seep excess toxins into the water and can keep light from penetrating beneath the water’s surface.
For the most part, the algae blooms are caused by humans—which is good news, because it means we can fix it. The chemical phosphorus that accelerates the growth of algae is found in a host of household products like laundry and dishwasher detergent, as well as in fertilizer. Start making an impact by checking whether the products you use contain the chemical and swap them out if they do!
This content is produced by WIRED Brand Lab in collaboration with Western Digital Corporation.